Taipei's top mainland policy-maker left the SAR last night hoping his landmark trip would mark the beginning of an era of stronger Hong Kong-Taiwan relations. Chang King-yuh, chairman of the ministerial-level Mainland Affairs Council, said: 'I am very concerned about the improvement of Hong Kong-Taiwan relations. 'All the friends I met agree we should further expand our relations by building on the existing foundations,' he added. Mr Chang, who was on an 'unofficial' visit to the territory, was speaking during a trip to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday morning. He also visited Chek Lap Kok Airport. Mr Chang said he was glad to be able to visit Hong Kong to learn more about its development. There was no special purpose to the 'private' visit, he said. Mr Chang said he hoped exchanges between the two sides could be 'normalised' and that they would develop at an 'improved level'. 'I hope that we can all work together. This is a new starting point,' he said. Mr Chang met Paul Yip Kwok-wah, special adviser to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and his unofficial envoy on Hong Kong-Taiwan issues. Mr Chang said they discussed a wide range of issues. A government official said Taiwan was keen to push for official contacts. 'There is enormous room for expansion of communication,' the official said. 'There are some problems in Hong Kong-Taiwan relations that needed to be resolved. But it has to be done step by step,' the official said. On relations between Taiwan and the mainland, Mr Chang said Taipei had not set any conditions for the improvement of ties. He said Taipei hoped the relationship could be strengthened on the basis of mutual benefit and harmony.